The Homicide Report

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On Monday, Jan. 25, 2010, The Times launched a new version of the Homicide Report. You have arrived at the old blog.

Readers can no longer post new comments on this site, but we encourage you to join the conversation on our new site. The updated Homicide Report features an interactive map and searchable database of the more than 2,600 homicides in L.A. County since January 2007, when Times' reporter Jill Leovy first started this blog with the goal of covering each one.

Comments prior to Jan. 26 will, at least for now, remain archived here, with links provided in the new database.

If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail [email protected], and we will do our best to respond.

-- Megan Garvey and Anthony Pesce



Bellflower: Carlos Vela, 17

July 6, 2009 |  4:18 pm

Carlos Vela, a 17-year-old Latino, was shot in the head in the 9600 block of Beverly Street in Bellflower. He died on Monday, June 1, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

Vela was accidentally shot by his friend James Kempski, 17, of Bellflower.

Deputies searched for Kempski after he accidentally shot Vela to death and then disappeared. He was reportedly despondent about the shooting and still has a gun, officials said.

Kempski and Vela, of Lawndale, were playing with a handgun when it fired, Lt. Dan Rosenberg said.

Kempski's father called law enforcement personnel from Arizona, where he was traveling on business, to report that his son was distraught because he had accidentally shot his friend.

Det. Phil Martinez said the boy told his father that he was afraid that no one would believe him and that he wanted to kill himself.

Vela's mother, Aida Portillo, appeared on local television news broadcasts to beg Kempski to turn himself in.

Investigators believe that there were other people at the home when Vela was shot and that Kempski is with friends, Martinez said.

-- Associated Press


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About the Reporters
The Homicide Report is compiled using information from the Los Angeles County coroner's office, local law enforcement agencies and the Los Angeles Times. It is written by Times staff writers.


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